Torch Theatre in Milford Haven is a multi-function venue that combines main and studio theatres, an art gallery and a café; and caters for plays, films, live music, dance, and conferences. The venue has recently purchased a DiGiCo SD9 digital console to create a more flexible and high-quality audio system.
Although the SD9 isn’t the first digital console to be deployed in the venue, the theatre’s technical manager, Andrew Sturley, says it has already transformed the theatre’s experience with digital audio.
“Previously, we had a 24-channel digital desk from another manufacturer, and went through four in a year, so it wasn’t a great start,” Sturley reflects. “We needed much greater reliability and to be certain that we were getting a quality product for the money. We were unanimous that the multi-functionality, processing quality and size made the SD9 the right desk for us. The Flexi Channels have added a lot of versatility and it has transformed our audio system from being mediocre to excellent, simply by just plugging it in.”
As well as the 300-capacity main house, Torch also has a studio theatre, featuring 102 retractable seats. It is unlikely to be long before it has its own DiGiCo console.
“The SD9 has become an integral part of our system and we are very happy with it,” says Andrew. “As soon as we can, we will be buying a second one for the studio theatre. The SD9 has transformed things since the initial, very disappointing start to our use of digital audio. I would recommend it to anyone.”
The SD9 is also the choice of console for Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru (ThGC), which is the Camarthen-based, National Welsh language touring company. ThGC’s technical and operations manager, Wyn Jones, says after securing Lottery funding, a high-end digital console was high on the list of priorities.
“Our productions vary in scale and the audio system needs to cope with everything from a full blown musical to an intimate performance in a village hall,” insists Jones. “We rely a lot on freelance sound engineers and their views were also a consideration. The SD9 is very user-friendly and many of them expressed a preference for DiGiCo.”